In 2015, when 26-year-old make-up artist Yesu came out to his parents, they first thought it was a joke and laughed it away. But when Yesu repeated in all seriousness that he was gay, a quarrel broke out in the family. Over time, his parents accepted his sexual orientation after considerable efforts on Yesu’s part to educate them about gender identities.
“It took me months to make them understand and accept me. After all these attempts, my parents half-heartedly let me choose my way of life. But still they keep advising me to become ‘normal’,” says Yesu, who now lives with his partner in a separate house.
Yesu is still an exception in India. Most LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and people of other identities) people are unable to come out openly to their parents, let alone the public. “Most parents, irrespective of education, caste and religion, are not ready to accept their children as gay or lesbian. Perceived ‘honour’ plays a role here,” says Yesu.
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